TakeTen: Episode 1 "Is VBS dead?"

What is TakeTen?

It is a ten minute video cast that will take ten minutes to record and ten minutes to watch. During these video casts we will discuss issues important to kids pastors. Hopefully the questions asked will serve as to jumpstart more conversation here on my blog and on cmconnect.org.

The last thing I hope to accomplish with these videos is to expose you to a variety of talented passionate kids pastors. Make sure you check out the links provided for more information.

Who will I see in this episode?

Ryan Frank – Ryan is the President of KidzMatter Inc. He is also the publisher and senior editor of K! Magazine. Along with his responsibilities as leader of these growing companies, he’s the children’s pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Sweetser, Indiana. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Network of Children’s Ministry. Ryan committed to full-time Christian service at the age of 12 and has been working with kids ever since. He started leading Kids’ Church as a senior in high school and never left. It’s the favorite part of his ministry.

Make sure you check out Kidzmatter and the new issue of K! for tools for kids ministry

Jamie StatemaJamie founded GoFish in 1995. They have sold over 1 million albums and have started their own record label distdibuted by Warner Music Group. Along with being president of GoFish, Inc. and GFK Records, Jamie also owns his own publishing company Found Free Music.

Jamie and his band produce some excellent music and have recently released a new VBS curriculum make sure you check it out.

Don’t just Lurk! Join the conversation, leave a comment.

*Also Please note there were some technical issues with Ryan’s line. I hope you still find value in it. Both Ryan and Jamie had some great stuff to say.

TakeTen: VBS Chat from Sam Luce on Vimeo.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “TakeTen: Episode 1 "Is VBS dead?"

  1. A lot of great thoughts there. We are a big VBS church, and I lead a lot of VBS training in our area, so I am familiar with the almost overused statistics that more people have come to Christ through VBS than any other evangelism effort, including revivals, etc. I truly think VBS is a great tool given to us by God to reach kids, but as with any tool, it has to be maintained to keep it’s effectiveness. We must constantly strive to meet kids where they are without watering down the message. Thanks, Sam, for putting this together. It was a great boost to my VBS work today!

  2. I think that VBS itself is a great idea. I think that the problem that you guys talked about is the execution. It seems as if most other things the production value has risen throughout the church and in most cases VBS is totally stagnant. And don’t get me wrong it’s not about just production but this is the biggest outreach program that most churches will do and what do you bring to the table?

    The question becomes can you offer it for free in a larger church context? How do the day camps in your area do their camps? Do they offer full day scheduling, meals, materials? What does the family makeup look like in your area: single parents, dual income families, etc.?

    We offer a full day program. 9-2 with options for before and after. It’s a huge thing for the kids and it has pushed our worship, writing, and production levels in our children’s ministry. For us it works but context is huge.

    Great idea Sam can’t wait for more Take Ten segments!!!

  3. I think nothing is ‘dead’ if done right. Define your goal and create a strategy to accomplish the goal. If VBS accomplishes the goal of teaching kids how to articulate and exercise their faith, then it’s effective. Call it what you want… VBS, Summer Slam, etc, etc.

    However, I would love to see churches within a community work together rather than competing for the most notable summer event. Personally my passion lies in equipping mom/dad for ministry in their living room. So VBS is sacrificed and efforts/time are harnessed toward community outreach and parent tools. But there are amazing VBS events in my community that I recommend.

  4. Great comments guys.

    I have never been a VBS hater. Just a fan of what works. I get nervous when people program bash without taking an honest look at the culture of their church. That is what is really important in the whole VBS debate. Does VBS or any other program fit our church culture? Does it do an effective job at reaching those we are trying to reach.

    Great Comments. Keep’em coming.

  5. In this season, VBS is dead at our church. I’m okay with that. There are some amazing churches doing incredible things with VBS programming in our area. I’m glad that they are dedicated to reaching kids through this type of venue. They are seeing huge numbers of kids and I believe that what they are doing is drawing kids closer to Christ. So rock on!

    We have been called to reevaluate our ministry goals. We recently stopped doing camp. Although heart breaking, it allowed God to do a new work in us as kids staff people. We were able to see things we hadn’t seen before and I’m glad for where He is taking us-into living rooms, instead of to a camp site. I STILL LOVE CAMP and think it’s effective, but for where we are right now, it doesn’t line up with what God is doing in our organization.

    The same is true of VBS. In our community, VBS doesn’t really serve as an outreach. We say that it does, but what we know is that most of the kids in attendance are being taken to 6 or 7 different VBSs around town. What a great thing for that kid! 6 or 7 different VBS programs! Great exposure to the truth of God’s word, but not evangelistic here. So again, we need to evaluate what exactly we want to accomplish with a summer program for kids outside of the normal weekend experience. Would it be evangelistic or discipleship? Where should we hold it? How would adults be led and empowered and equipped through this opportunity? And most importantly, what are the desired outcomes of the event?

  6. We do not do VBS at our church even though some have asked for it. For us VBS seems to have a preconceived idea about what it should look like and accomplish.

    I think I would rather try something new that has a fresher feel.

    I have to confess, I do not like getting the thousand different VBS advertisements in my church mailbox. They seem more like a Happy Meal than good curriculum.

  7. VBS I have found is a touchy subject but one we were made to seriously evaluate when our seasoned coordinator stepped down after 11 years of faithful service. The timing was perfect to honestly look at the effectiveness of our program. Actually it was very successful in numbers and leading children to Christ. But, we found ourselves capped in our growth due to the size limitations for our facility. We have had a small percentage of children come from outside the church, but most were VBS hopping from one program to another in our area in order to fill up their summer calendar. So, we weren’t an outsider event, but bringing children to Christ from inside the church also has just much value. Insiders – this is who our program was being the most effective with.

    Our next question was, how does this fit into our model of training up parents to be the spiritual leaders of their homes? We have been working very diligently on this for the past 2 years. We felt we could capitalize on this by changing VBS from a children’s event to a family focused one. Thus, FamJam was born. July 28-30 we will be having an amazing, 3 evening, family event. We are going to rock the house with great music, out there teaching games, and powerful message. Throw in supper, family materials, and lots of extras and this is going to impact the home in a powerful way.

    As we rethink VBS we know that others in the community can continue to meet the needs of children by using the traditional model. We feel it’s time to take a risk and think outside the box. What is right for our culture may not be right for someone else, but knowing our people is key. Parents want to be the spiritual leaders of their homes, but they don’t know how. We are giving back the responsibility to the parents to train up their children and then we are going to come along side of them and assist them with modeling and great resources. This is our goal with FamJam!

    God is going to do something great and I can’t wait to see what the final outcome is!